I had told Zane to come to the side door of Fiore’s and I’d let him in. The staff was minimal. And there was only the bartender, a waitress, one bus boy and one other kitchen staff besides myself left. I’d sent everyone else home. We had three tables in the dinning room and it was our busy hour. I’d stay open till 9 and then closed up shop. I shouldn’t need more than minimal staff. If we did then we all made a bit more money.
After 20 minutes there was a knock and I opened the door to see those beautiful blue eyes smiling at me. “You look cold.” I said.
Zane sighed. “You’d think I’d be use to the snow. But it wasn’t snowing when I left.”
“You want some coffee?” I asked.
“Please.” Zane said as he knocked off his shoes and dusted off his coat before hanging it on the coat rack in the lounge. I busied myself with making coffee. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen the back side of a restaurant before.”
I grinned. “Not much to look at. It’s usually a lot busier than this. I sent everyone else home, we are hardly busy.”
“So why stay open?”
“Tradition.” I pulled my phone out and glanced at the time. “Only an hour or so before I’ll close up. Maybe after the three tables leave.”
Zane glanced through the window of the swinging double doors. “I don’t think I’ve seen Fiore this empty.”
I laughed. “It gets eerie after everyone leaves.”
“You hungry?” I added.
Zane shook his head. “As much as I’d love to have you cook for me – I’m stuffed.”
“That’s alright. I expect you’ll be stuffed for a while. The holidays do that.”
Liam the bus boy left came into the kitchen. “Did I hear Ant?” He stopped and looked at Zane then at me. “Oh, you’re not Ant. New friend Angel?”
I smiled. “Zane, Liam, Liam Zane. Liam is like third cousin to my great aunt or something. Babbo likes to keep it in the family.”
Liam waved and excused himself, “Can you get the tables, my mom just called said if I’m not home in twenty minutes they’ll sell all my presents.”
“Alright. I got the tables.”
Liam nodded. “Thanks man. You are so much cooler than Chef Marco. He’d never have let everyone go.”
I smiled. “It’s the holidays, and we are slow. I got it.” Liam waved and left through the side entrance.
Zane asked, “Who’s Ant?”
“My best friend. He’s the only one who ever comes in looking for me at the side entrance.” I sighed. “While we are on that subject, there’s probably something you should hear from me before you hear it on the street.”
Zane looked at me curiously but he didn’t say anything. I wasn’t sure if that was good or bad. “Ant’s just a friend, but he has had certain benefits in the past. He came by last night tried to reap those benefits because his girl dumped him – again. I told him I wasn’t interested.” I could here the waiver in my voice. “But that didn’t stop him. I had to safe word to make him back off.”
Zane looked at me for several seconds. I could see the wheels turning, and I wanted to know what he was thinking. He didn’t say anything I thought he might, he just asked, “Why did you have to safe word? What was he doing?” I wasn’t sure if he was angry or being possessive.
“He had me pressed against the wall outside and said the word to start a scene before he attached himself to my neck. I wasn’t interested in playing his pet pretty boy.”
Zane shrugged. “Don’t let me stop you. It’s not like we are exclusive. If you want him to fuck you, let him.” Zane stepped away from the counter he’d been leaning against. “I should go.”
I sighed. “So what, you came all the way out here to what say hi?”
“Look Angel, if that’s what you are interested great. It’s not me.”
“I didn’t ask for it to be you. I was telling you so you heard it from me before you heard it about me. But I guess the results are the same either way. So whatever, Zane.” I headed for the double swinging doors and didn’t look back, “See you ’round.” I pushed through the doors and into the dinning room with bright faked smile to attend to the last table still sitting at a quaint little Italian cafe in the middle of New York City.